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Slovenia looks for a brighter future partying under a pink castle

Slovenia looks for a brighter future partying under a pink castle

Slovenia, a country which is putting up a great fight to keep its new same-sex marriage law and to avoid the Church led anti-gay referendum, recently bathed Ljubljana Castle in pink light and celebrated LGBTI people and their achievements with a gorgeous, several-hour long party as part of Slovenian Pink Week.

The Dragon’s Ball Party, a Saturday nigth gala dinner with live entertainment set in Križanke, a former monastery of the Order of Teutonic Knights. Delighted by the Taste Ljubljana food, the Slovenian Pink Week’s guests had the chance of meeting local influential people as well as several personalities from around the world.

In the stylish medieval rooms, guests from the USA, Croatia, Israel, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and United Kingdom listened attentively to a passionate pro-LGBTI speech by Marta Kos, ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia in Germany, and to another speech by Zoran Janković, Mayor of Ljubljana, who was given the first ‘Pink Dragon’ prize ever [below].

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The Mayor stated several times during the gala dinner that his wish is ‘to celebrate the first gay marriage in the Town Hall.’ Slovenia is changing – this nation which was part of the former socialist Yugoslavia is now becoming the first Central European country to allow same-sex marriage. It approved the law in March and now the LGBTI activists of this tiny but wonderful country are trying to make it work for real, despite the referendum to abolish the law which has been promoted by the Catholic Church.

During the last days of the Pink Week, the second edition of the LGBTI event organised by Mattej Valenčič and Matej Knific from Imperial Luxury Travel Solutions, the rainbow flag was raised on the Town Hall façade.

The purpose of the ball was to have fun and at the same time act in the benefit of the society. Therefore, the event also had the element of a fundraiser. Donations this time will fund the participation of Slovenia in the Christopher Street Parade in Berlin, one of the largest gay prides in the world. ‘It will be an excellent promotion for Slovenia,’ said ambassadors Kos and Mattej Valenčič.

The dinner was a triumph of Ljubljana specialties, of course: from venison pate to cottage cheese, from a heavy but tasty pork scratching bread to tagliatelle with ham, cream and pumpkin seeds. My favourite dish? The deep fried chicken drumsticks – buttery, savoury, exactly like my aunt cooks them. (If this whets your appetitie, check out Taste Ljubljana – a tourist board-driven project aimed at promoting the best of the Slovenian capital cuisine, held in several restaurants thanks to the hard work of several well-known chefs.)

The evening provided a great way of meeting new people, doing some networking and knowing different cultures. From the United States to the little country of Liechtenstein, many countries of the world were represented at the party.

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Photo: Cubo Hotel

Meanwhile the five-day tour of Slovenia, the guests had the chance to discover most of the beautiful spots of the greenest country in Europe. From the charming Ljubljana [above] to Lake Bled to the Alps, from the Adriatic Coast to the SPA resorts in the Dolenjska region, Slovenia was presented at its best.

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Thanks to Roundabout, a tour company, I had the chance to visit the Å kocjan Caves, one of the most beautiful underground natural tunnels in the world [above]. I walked for a couple of miles underneath the Slovenian hills, seeing gorges and underground rivers, listening to the sound of the water and to the extreme silence of the belly of our planet. An unforgettable experience, something I strongly suggest to everyone. If you come to Slovenia, this is definitely a must.

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I also visited the town of Piran [above] – an Adriatic gem, one of the best towns I have ever seen this side of the world. It has a Venetian flavour and it’s almost always kissed by a gorgeous sun. This is where you will be able to taste wonderful seafood, to see seagulls fighting in the sky, to swim in the clean and blue waters surrounding the fortified village.

I had the chance to stay in the stylish Cubo Hotel, where I enjoyed a large, comfortable room overlooking the castle. Excellent pillows and a very soft carpet will cuddle you in your stay.

Breakfast at Cubo in the stylish dining room is simply stunning [below]. Apart from the set of jams and fresh fruit juices, ask for a freshly cooked omelette with ham and mushrooms – tasty and delicate at the same time. The kindness and smiles of Martina, one member of the staff, are worth a long trip to Slovenia.

Pink Week will return in May 2016.

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With thanks to the Slovenian Tourist Board, Imperial Luxury Travel Solutions, Visit Ljubljana, Taste Ljubljana, and Roundabout. Photos: Pink Week, Cubo Hotel and Daniele Guido Gessa

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